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Microsoft launched its new Vista operating system, Office 2007 suite, and Exchange Server 2007 today, for corporate customers. The consumer version is scheduled to be offered in January of 2007. Even if this were the consumer launch, would it matter to web workers? Is Microsoft still […]

Microsoft launched its new Vista operating system, Office 2007 suite, and Exchange Server 2007 today, for corporate customers. The consumer version is scheduled to be offered in January of 2007. Even if this were the consumer launch, would it matter to web workers? Is Microsoft still relevant to those of us who spend increasing amounts of time within the browser?

For the subset of web workers who use Mac or Linux operating systems, a new version of Windows won’t make any difference at all. Those who use Windows might look forward to the Flip and Flip 3D window management feature that’s part of the UI improvements and the security upgrades that should reduce malware infections. Vista includes Internet Explorer 7, so if you’re an IE user and haven’t already upgraded, that will certainly change your online life.

As new web services come online, I move more and more of my work off the desktop and into my browser of choice: Firefox. What about you? What desktop software and operating system capabilities still matter to you? What parts of your work life have totally migrated into the cloud?

  1. [...] For Web Worker Daily, I ask whether the impending consumer launch of Vista matters to web workers. I’d think not, though granted some of the features look really cool and what Windows user doesn’t need better security? [...]

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  2. As a Mac user I can’t say whether Vista would change my habits were it in my future, but I spend far more time outside the browser than I gather many of my peers do. Firefox and Thunderbird are in constant rotation for me as well as VoodooPad for taking notes and writing anything other than emails. And of course the terminal, used for all the “real work.”

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  3. [...] It’s hard to escape hearing about the launch of Microsoft’s Vista operating system for business customers today — especially with Steve Ballmer calling it “the biggest launch in our company’s history.” The consumer version won’t be widely available until January. With all the delays in the Vista launch, what’s a little more wait? Anne Zelenka has some thoughts on Web Worker Daily . What do you think? [...]

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  4. As an(other) Mac user, I’m not losing too much sleep over Vista.

    As regards webservices vs. desktop office tools, I like to think I’m a well-informed optimist. I adore web-apps, I’m a fan of Google Docs, etc. But I also find I like to have some degree of offline persistence. No, not a hard-disk full of Office documents and spreadsheets. But certain operations, and certain modes or work are simply not well catered for remotely.I like the idea of hybrid apps – i.e, apps which sync my desktop with my web-service backends. While I believe in the future more and more workload will be relayed to a remote server, I do think a certain amount of data and data manipulation will remain on the local computer (Can you call that a “thinning client” scenario?). Just my 0.02 €

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  5. I also use my OS mainly as a shell for my browser, but there are still a lot of program’s that I don’t have browser based yet. For example: A good text editor (for coding), a SSH shell, an FTP browser (altho I do use IE for this, sometimes), music and video player, photo management, and Google Docs isn’t as ‘good’ as Word is, yet (and word isn’t THAT good…). It’s the right time to as: I just ordered a new PC, so tomorrow, I’ll see what I will install.

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  6. Vista’s ability to search quickly and easily through downloaded web pages and documents is important to me. I use Photoshop and PowerPoint and Outlook and GPS apps that still have not been replaced by web based apps.

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  7. Doug, BestBuy Employee: “Hello, how may I serve you today?”
    Nintey-Nine Percent Of Consumers: “I would like to purchase one of those com-puu-dors.”
    Doug (who has a monster crush on Debbie, the redhead at cash one): “Yes sir, and would you like Windows Vista with that?”
    99PcOfCons: “Duhr. I would like windows and a door thank you.”

    OR

    Mike, Dell Employee Of The Year (who is sleeping with Debbie, the redhead from BestBuy): “Hey, check it out, another weenie wants to buy a PC with Vista. Hey the dumbass gave us all of his passwords and account numbers. Hey everybody, new iPods on this guy.”

    Later On In The Gates Cave: “Hey check it out, we just bought Brazil by default.”

    People will buy Vista because they don’t give a rats bee-hind about Firefox or critical apps, ASPs, ISPs, OS, RichText Editor or PowerPoint. Easily 80% of the features on any home computer go entirely unused during said computers lifespan. Porn, email and the occasional grainy video of a teenager blowing up some stuff he found in your backyard (“Sweet Christ, I think that was my frigging dog!”). That’s it. The rest is just a giant make-work project to keep geeks like us off the street.

    Gabriel.

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  8. I have managed to move most of my needs into the Browser thanks to Google for their great web apps. I use regularly Gmail, Rss reader (The best!),Docs & spreadsheet, Calendar (Really great!), and for bookmarking I use the Yahoo del.icio.us service. I have been a Windows user for more then 10 years, and it has often been a pain in the ass to keep things running. When they finally manage to release a new OS, it’s just a bubble with no really new features. And from what little experience I have with it, it will be more problematic to use then Windows XP.. So I am not taking the shit anymore. I have decided to go for Mac. and I have just ordred myself a Macbook. :) Down the street, in maybe 2-3 years I think Linux will be the new kid on the block. They are sooo near, but still have to trim the edges a bit to be popular by the average joe . Just my two cents for what it’s worth.

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  9. Well, seems like there isn’t much about Vista goods for me since I don’t actually use much Microsoft on my PC. I’m contented, not to say very happy, with Win XP, and waiting for SP3 but that’s mainly it. I use OpenOffice along with Google’s for docs and spreadsheets. Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, del.icio.us, My Yahoo, GMail etc. I’ve turned down most of Microsofts applications and wouldn’t ever think of going back at it. I also think Vista is overhyped, both in the pro or cons department. I guess I’ll just try to have more patience and I’ll get me a mac someday, when I get the money.

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  10. US Residents can get a free copy of Vista for Business or Office 2007: http://engtech.wordpress.com/2006/11/30/free-windows-vista-to-us-residents/

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